How to put the drive belt on a yardman lawnmower, step by step


Yardman lawn mowers are one of the more popular lawnmowers that has a suitable size and adequate power. The simplicity in design and a powerful working result from a complex belt system between the mower’s engine and the blades. It has two drive belts and may also have a spindle belt. These drive belts are responsible for the efficient transmission system. Over time, the belts may get loose or even break. Replacing the belt is essential in that case. Your lawnmower does not move appropriately if the belt is broken or worn. So, it is crucial to replace the belt in time and keep your yardman lawnmower working smoothly and efficiently. This article includes all the relevant guidelines to find the right belt and place it.

How to put the drive belt on a yardman lawnmower, step by step:

  • Step 1. Gather the necessary tools.
  • Step 2. Position the mower and disconnect the spark plug
  • Step 3. Set the deck to its lowest position
  • Step 4. Inspect wrapping pattern of the drive belt
  • Step 5. Drive belt attachment with the pulleys
  • Step 6. Slide the deck underneath the mower

If your lawnmower is not cutting the grass uniformly and slows down in the middle of mowing, it can be maddening. The first thing, which should come to your mind, is a loose or wrecked belt. Delayed blade engagement and jerks in motion are also indicators of a poor belt. This article briefly explains how to put on a new belt on your yardman Lawnmower. If you face similar issues, go through the article and follow the mentioned steps. The instructions will help you fix your mower and keep your lawn looking the way you want it.

How to put the drive belt on a Yardman lawnmower:

Replacing the belt on a yardman lawnmower requires some effort. The process itself will take around an hour, depending on your skill level. It is good to make some images or a short video on how the different parts are connected. You can use this when you have to reattach the various lawnmower components.

● Step 1: Gather the necessary tools.

Using the right tools makes the job easier. It would be best if you have the following tools:

  • A pair of safety gloves.
  • A Set of Pliers.
  • Screwdrivers.
  • Adjustable or socket wrench.
  • Piece of Woodblocks.

Before you start replacing your yardman mower belt, check that the part number for the belt matches the one listed in the “replacement parts” section of your yardman lawn mower manual. The specifications are usually labeled on one side of the belt rubber. Ensure that the length of the belt and the shape are correct. A higher length number might get you a loose belt causing lagging issues. A shorter belt will have a short life as it gets ruptured quickly. If possible, use a factory-built belt. The procedure will be explained for the 2 drive belts, which are the most important ones. The same method can be followed for the belt on the spindle if you have one (not all Yardman lawnmowers use one).

● Step 2. Position the mower on a flat surface.

Park the yardman lawnmower on a smooth and level surface. Switch off the ignition system and engage the parking brakes. If your mower engine had been running previously, let it cool down first before starting. Change the blade rotation to control the “Disengage” position. Disconnect the spark plug cables. You want to ensure that it is impossible to start the engine unintensionaly when working on the belts and close to the blades.

● Step 3: Setting deck on its lowest setting.

Set the deck to its lowest setting by lowering the Yardman deck control lever. It is present on the side of the steering wheel. Now, locate the mower deck. You will find two hex bolts, which are next to the engine pulley. Remove them by using an adjustable wrench. Then, remove the deck hanger links and unhook the belt from the engine pulley. Take the deck out from beneath the mower. Raise the deck control lever to disengage the blades.

● Step 4: Inspect the wrapping pattern of the drive belt.

Observe the pattern of the drive belt according to which it is wrapped around the deck. Mostly there are six pulleys around which the drive belt is wrapped. This is common in MTD yardman lawnmower models. Remove off the mower’s broken belt from each pulley by using belt support. The drive belt in a yardman lawnmower comes in 2 types. It may be a single belt wound around the 6 pulleys, or it may be a pair of upper and lower drive belts fixed over the pulleys. In any case, you have to get a new belt or belt. The specifications can be found in the user’s manual. They are also labeled on a sticker on the inner side of the lawnmower hood. Ensure that the length and shape of the belt are exactly the same.

● Step 5: Attach the drive belt with the pulley:

Now you have to attach the drive belt to the pulleys. This is done by connecting the topside of the belt with the top pulley, where the belt’s lowest loop is wrapped around the lowest most pulley. Proceed to cover the new drive belt around the pulleys with the same pattern of the removed belt until the last pulley and ensures a snug fit.

A useful tip is to draw a belt orientation diagram when removing the old belt. This will help ease in correcting the belt orientation. Also, taking some images and a short video can be of great help later.

● Step 6: Slide the deck underneath the Yardman mower:

Once the belt is wrapped around, set the deck control lever to the lowest setting, and slide the deck back underneath the mower. Reconnect the deck hanger links with the lower deck. Put back the hex bolts into the deck, which is right next to the engine pulley, and attach the drive belt to the engine pulley. Use a wrench to tight the hex bolts and raise the lever of the deck to the cutting level. It is necessary to slide back the deck underneath the mower, similarly to how one takes it out to insert a new drive belt inside.

Additional precautionary measures

Safety measures while working on a lawnmower are important:

  1. Use Gloves: For some of the jobs, it is good to use some sturdy gloves.
  2. Remove the spark plug: Make sure to unplug the spark plug wire because you do not want to have the engine starting unintentionally while working on your lawnmower’s belt.
  3. Check the guards: Make sure guards are in place and secured. By doing this, you can fix the belt without damaging other parts of your machine.
  4. Have a first aid kit near: You should keep a first aid kit always close. So that you can treat any injury timely instead of having to look for one.

Frequently asked questions:

1. When should I replace my lawnmower belt?

The more you use your mower, the more wear and tear the belt will see. Belts may get worn-out due to various factors, like the type of usage, climate, and age. One should check the mower’s belt at least once a year. If they look bad, you should replace them. The life span of the belts should be at least 70 to 80 hours. If used correctly, they can last longer. But always keep an eye on the belt’s condition.

2. Is it required to remove the mower deck to replace the belt?

The manual that comes with the lawnmower indicates that you have to remove the mower deck to replace the belt in.  It is necessary for modern models as they have a finer and tightly spaced body. Removing the mower deck eases your approach to the drive belt and pulleys. One can also place the mower to its lowest position to change the belt. However, the best scenario is with a removed deck.

3. Why does my mower’s belt keep slipping off?

The mower’s belt can slip due to the mower’s unbalanced mounting system, damaged belt, debris interference, or other damaged parts. With time, the belt may get too loose due to heating and continuous usage. This creates a sag in the belt that makes it slip whenever the blades are engaged or the load is shifted.

Final remarks:

A yardman lawn mower is an excellent sturdy mower, perfect for maintaining your lawn. The small-sized riding mower is relatively fast and has strong blade and transmission systems. These systems are run on a single long or a pair of short drive belts which have to be taken care of. With time, the belt condition may deteriorate, or cracks may cause the belt to function irregularly. This requires you to put a new belt on the mower’s pulleys to keep the mower functioning properly. This article describes the key steps to replace them.

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